After covering the Chiefs’ draft history under John Dorsey in Part 1, we looked at more recent draft strategy under Brett Veach at the helm, in Part 2 of ‘A Draft past and present’. In this third part, we look at some educated guesses at what position groups the Chiefs will target in the upcoming Draft. With the Chiefs possessing a multitude of picks this year, including three 7th round picks, this article will only look at potential prospects in the first four rounds.
Whilst not actually producing a mock draft from a simulator, I am going to use the research I carried out, and state that first off, I believe that before the Draft, Brett Veach WILL do one of two things: A) Trade one of pick 29 or 30, for a proven commodity at WR, if so, I believe he will target one who is about to become a free agent in 2023, very much in the mould of their strategy to trade for Orlando Brown Jr. There is an argument that they need to be paid in the 2023 off-season, but that’s the case of all WRs in the NFL, and if the Chiefs don’t pay the going rate for a true WR1, then their rivals will. No, Brett Veach wasn’t prepared to pay Tyreek Hill what he was asking, but he will be prepared to pay another WR what they’re asking (I’ve been of the opinion for a few months now, that it’ll be DK Metcalf).
B) Package both 29&30 together, or one of each plus later round picks, and move up for a player they’re particularly high on in the first round, to address a team need. Some may be thinking Edge, others CB. I don’t think it’ll be either. If this is the route Brett Veach takes, I’ll explain my rationale below.
That being said, let’s get into it….
If going route A, as outline above, Part 2 of this series told us that it’s VERY unlikely that the Chiefs select a WR to complement their trade acquisition. In fact, the Chiefs selected only two ‘skill position’ players in the early rounds (1-4) on two occasions in their 4 years drafting under Veach. It’s also unlikely that the Chiefs will select a CB this early, with Veach and Reid collectively electing to look for hidden gems in the later rounds.
That leaves positions of need in Edge and Interior Defensive Line. Although I think most Chiefs fans would like Edge, I personally feel the Chiefs should select one of only a handful of Interior Defensive Line talent if available here. I doubt he is, but if Devonte Wyatt (Georgia) is here, I’m taking him in a heartbeat. This is where scenario B comes in; should the Chiefs NOT trade away any of their two first round picks, then there is the option of trading up to take Devonte Wyatt. Of course, the Chiefs may decide to pursue scenario B, and trade up for a top 5 Edge defender.
It is evident that the Chiefs NEED to address the Defensive Line, which was stated as such by Brett Veach, who addressed the media at the end of the season, stating, “we’ll always prioritise the Offensive and Defensive Line”. The statistics from last season reinforce this need, the Chiefs not only struggled to produce sacks, but they allowed the 12th most rushing yards in the NFL and allowed the 2nd most yards per carry in the run game. Adding a run stopping Interior Defensive Lineman should be of significance in my opinion, therefore, and is the main reason why I’d target someone like Devonte Wyatt; I’d even like to see them bring in someone like Perion Winfrey (Alabama).
Should the Chiefs elect not to address the Defensive Interior, then the pick here is likely Edge, and could bring into play, Boye Mafe (Minnesota), Arnold Ebiketie (Penn State), or David Ojabo (Michigan) to name a few.
If following the Chiefs’ previous pattern of drafting defensive talent in the early rounds, then there are some nice options at both Safety, and Linebacker. Some potential available Safety options with their two picks in Round 2, include, Lewis Cine (Georgia), Daxton Hill (Michigan) Jalen Pitre (Baylor), Jacquan Brisker (Penn State), and Nick Cross (Maryland).
If the Chiefs were to look to address Linebacker depth with the loss of Ben Niemann and Anthony Hitchens, then there are several options who appear set to go in the second round. Names such as Quay Walker (Georgia), Christian Harris (Alabama), Chad Muma (Wyoming), Brian Asamoah (Oklahoma), and my highest prospect, Leo Chenal (Wisconsin) could all still be available to more than help fill the void.
Rounds 3 & 4
Although the Chiefs have generally looked to pick up skill position players from the 4th round onwards, I thought I’d look at some interesting players in position of need in these final two rounds of the articles focus.
So far, Cornerback, Wide Receiver, and Running Back have not been addressed within this look at the 2022 draft. I figured I’d list a few personal favourite prospects who could be around in Rounds 3&4, therefore:
John Metchie III (Alabama) – a good possession receiver, with a good release package, who can create separation
Calvin Austin III (Memphis) – electric in the slot, can create separation, and is one of the best in this draft class at creating yards after the catch (YAC)
Alec Pierce (Cincinnati) – a tall receiver, who has great speed for his size, outstanding hands, and ball skills, and can play as a true X receiver, or as a ‘big slot’ receiver, as we see more and more in the NFL these days
Cam Taylor-Britt (Nebraska) – a ‘do it all’ cornerback who should be going much earlier than this, tough tackler, great speed, ball hawking skills, there’s nothing this guy can’t do, and I WANT him as a Chief in the 2022 season
Marcus Jones – an undersized cornerback, who projects as a fantastic slot corner, who can man up in the slot. He has an innate ability to mirror slot receivers, he’s a brilliant tackler, and has some upside as a return man on special teams
Isaiah Spiller – a running back who reminds us at Arrowheads Abroad, of Jamaal Charles in his style of play. Although that’s a big pair of shoes to fill, Spiller is a dynamic back, who projects as that 3 down ‘bell cow’ back. He has a fantastic jump cut, agile feet, and has outstanding contact balance
James Cook – brother of Dalvin Cook (Minnesota Vikings RB), James is a fleet footed, and very elusive running back. He rarely fumbles the football, is a great addition as a receiving back, and is a very willing in pass protection
Brian Robinson Jr – a big bodied and strong running back, Robinson is patient, powerful, excellent in pass protection, and is the type of big, strong, tall (6’ 2”) running back the Chiefs have lacked for a few years
So, there it is Chiefs Kingdom, my research led me to this point. Of course, Brett Veach could completely throw all history/form out of the window, and shock the entire fanbase, not to mention NFL. This could be close to the mark, or I could be way off; only one thing is for certain, come 1st May, we’ll know one way or another. Go Chiefs!